Toxicology and Societies Presents: Silent Winter

Our Chemical World and Chronic Illness

Pills and a syringe on a document that says "Chronic Diseases" and glass tubes filled with red and blue liquid marked with hazard symbols.

Event Details




Online: Zoom



Brought to you by:

Institute of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, WWU Alumni Association


Check out this video to watch the Silent Winter Our Chemical World and Chronic Illness.

Most of us are told that our health issues are a result of our lifestyle or genes. We rarely hear that chronic illness is on the rise as a result of toxic chemicals in consumer products and throughout our environment. 

Our speaker will talk about her book, Silent Winter: Our Chemical World and Chronic Illness.  Silent Winter is about the silent spread of toxic chemicals in our daily lives and their role in the growing prevalence of illnesses such as cancer, chronic fatigue, diabetes, asthma, digestive issues, depression, dementia, and others.   

More information about the speaker series is available, as are all past Toxicology and Societies recordings.


Joanna Malaczynski smiles warmly. She has white skin, long, straight brown hair parted in the middle, and narrow glasses.

Joanna Malaczynski, Speaker

Human Sustainability Author & Design Thinker

Joanna Malaczynski has spent a decade working on eliminating toxic chemicals from consumer products as an attorney, consultant, and entrepreneur. She first became involved in the enforcement of environmental and consumer protection laws related to environmental health as an attorney. Learn more at

Ruth Sofield is smiling. She has white skin, blond hair, and wears glasses and a brown shirt with beige polka dots.

Ruth Sofield, Co-Host

Ruth Sofield is a Professor of environmental toxicology and chemistry in the College of the Environment. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Ruth's research group focuses on the effects of water and air pollution. Their current projects include the aquatic toxicity of microplastic and tire wear particles, and the use of moss as a biomonitoring tool for particulate matter. Ruth is a member of the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel and the President of the Pacific Northwest Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Tracy Collier is a caucasian male, with short brown hair and wire-rimmed glasses. He is smiling faintly and wears a casual black polo shirt.

Tracy Collier, Co-Host

Tracy Collier received his Ph.D. in Fisheries Sciences from the University of Washington. He has worked for over 45 years as a toxicologist, with more than 35 of those years spent at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where he served as the director of a science division that employed up to 100 people, covering several disciplines, including environmental toxicology, analytical chemistry, harmful algal blooms, and watershed processes. He has over 175 scientific publications, and currently is an affiliate faculty at Western.

Accommodations and Other Details

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event by calling (360) 650-3353 or emailing

There will be auto-captions available for this event.